A maestro making a difference
- Written by Marilyn Harkrider
Joe Weir has been teaching for 28 years in the Humble school district. And now he will add a new responsibility and honor to his many achievements. Weir was chosen in San Antonio as the president-elect of the Texas Music Educators Association, an organization of approximately 11,000 members. He will serve for three years on the executive board. He says he wants his tenure to be meaningful. “I want to continue to promote the rights of students and teachers in regard to music education. I do not want to just run an organization.” He will be busy with his duties as he will be attending five to six board meetings and various functions as well as keeping his busy schedule at Atascocita High School. The path to his election started in 1984 at Atascocita Middle School, and he is now inspiring students at AHS. Throughout his career, he has led students to exceptional performance. His Humble High School Madrigal Singers sang at the Texas Music Educators Association Convention in 2001 and the Southwest American Choral Director’s Association Convention in 2002. These successes point to his success in the classroom as well. Weir has always advocated that music is important to a student’s development in many ways “the arts give a balanced education. They allow the student to dream and develop empathy,” said Weir. But Weir uses his classes for more than open expression. He believes that the arts can help a person connect with what he expresses as “RW,” the real world. “I try to stress that in music your part may be important, but it is not the only part. People need to work together as a team to produce a good product. One must handle differences in an appropriate manner. Together the effort will always be stronger. The students find that their common bond is the thread of music” Weir will implement team strategy as he helps lead TMEA, one of the largest music educators’ associations in the nation. This voluntary organization has divisions for elementary- to college- level participants, and has done much to promote the arts in education. The passage of a bill in the state legislature requiring a credit in the arts for graduation was one of the successes the organization advocated. The training and promotion of students in the arts is another. Each year at their February convention, the TMEA provides speakers and workshops with leaders from around the nation. While teachers hone their skills, the students from around Texas who are members of All State meet with world-renowned clinicians to improve their musical performance. “These students have achieved a level of excellence, and deserve the training,” said Weir. Constantly advocating for all his students Weir hopes more people become involved in arts education. “We need the community to realize the importance of these programs. I hope everyone will visit a site, Goarts.org, and get involved, or at least become familiar with what is happening in the arts programs,” said Weir. Photo: Joe Weir was recently elected president of the Texas Music Educators Association.